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When You Cannot Afford to Fire a Bad Actor

Updated: May 4, 2023


Hi, I'm Dr. Lindsey Lee, and I co-founded Lynch Learning with my business partner Natalie Lynch. Sometimes employers find that once they have rolled out training and their employees become aware of what harassment looks like in their environment, they reflect on their own experiences, and they are made aware of how to report those concerns, and you've established an environment in which your employees know they can trust you to manage issues that they raise. You might receive complaints and validate complaints that a particular employee has in fact been harassing other employees while in your work environment. And that, of course has to be managed. Employers sometimes have a misnomer that certain employees, especially executives, those who have been with the organization for a very long time, those who have made significant contributions to the organization, those who make the most sales and are the strongest sales folks, sometimes there's a belief that those folks are actually irreplaceable. And while we never want to create an environment where people believe that they can be replaced at any time, the fact of the matter is if you have a harasser whose behaviors have been confirmed in your work environment, you have to manage that. And you have to manage that on the side of maintaining safety for your other employees. And that may mean a termination decision for the person found to have been or be the harasser in that instance. And what our training program equips you with is the documentation that will be needed to support a termination decision in the event that you find that you have a harasser in your work environment. And through our program, if you don't already have an anti-harassment policy, our consultants will make sure that you have one in place, and they will make sure that your training program communicates that policy to your employees. And so effectively, the harasser in this instance will have taken your training, you will have demonstrated to that employee and all employees how to behave properly, what your behavioral expectations are for them. And if they are found to have ignored those behavioral guidelines or those expectations, then you will have the documentation needed to demonstrate that your termination decision is appropriate. It is your duty to act as the conscience of the organization. And our program will help you do that by giving you the documentation needed to support a termination decision. And terminating though employees who are perceived to be irreplaceable can be very difficult. May land you in a difficult position. And one way to prepare for that though is to make sure that you're also engaging in succession planning for any individuals in a key role. And that way, you will be prepared in the event that they leave or have to be let go for whatever reason.

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